Meet the Fellows
Afterschool Director, Center for Educational Equity
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? I feel that afterschool and summer learning are extremely valuable. Keeping students engaged in constructive activities during afterschool and summer times will better their chances for future success.
Director/Founder, Black Girls’ Clubhouse, Inc.
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning provide youth with a sense of community and structure outside of the classroom. Students can develop healthy relationships through teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills in these programs. By allowing students to learn new skills, surround themselves with positive role models, and understand physical and emotional health, afterschool and summer learning improve academic performance, behaviors, and health and well-being.
Erica Bissell, Ed.D.
Director of Teaching and Learning, Lexington County School District One
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning opportunities provide students both academic and enrichment opportunities that seek to develop the whole child. Students who participate in these programs grow academically but also socially and emotionally resulting in more confident learners. Afterschool and summer learning opportunities also provide educators with an opportunity to grow as professionals. Afterschool and summer learning staff feel empowered to try new things, problem-solve, and collaborate with others which leads to heightened teacher effectiveness during the regular school day.
Coordinator of Early Childhood and Federal Programs, Lexington County School District One
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Providing students with extended learning opportunities and enrichment is invaluable for students and their families! Afterschool programs and summer learning give students an opportunity to grow academically, which is especially important for students that might need additional time to learn content and to complete unfinished learning as a result of COVID or other circumstances. These programs also support students’ behavioral and physical health which creates optimal conditions for them to learn in a supportive environment.
Curriculum Coordinator, Newberry Middle School
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning can make many positive impacts as well as provide benefits and values to a students’ social, emotional and academic success. Not only do afterschool and summer learning opportunities keep students busy and provide consistency in their lives, these programs help keep many students out of trouble, provides them with a safe environment, while also aiding in academic success and acceleration. Students enrolled in these programs are able to work in smaller group settings, receive individualized instruction, as well as take part in programs or classes that aren’t typically offered, creating engaging opportunities that students look forward to. Often times, students enrolled in these programs become more responsible and are proud to take ownership of their learning and success.
Eduardo K. Curry II
School Engagement Manager, Charleston Promise Neighborhood
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? The true value of afterschool learning is 1. the protection that we give our students 2. the enrichment opportunities to introduce new skills new ideas and enhancement of future talents. 3 to give a refresher on the school day lessons with students with assistance with homework help. The summer program gives us real hope in tackling the problem of the summer slide while still giving academic support and enrichment with safety.
Executive Director, Edgefield County Youth Empowerment Center
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning programs provide supportive learning and engaging environments that meet the needs of young people by providing opportunities for them to grow academically, socially and emotionally, cognitively, and physically. Afterschool and summer learning programs are agents of change by addressing the challenges that exist in their communities.
Youth and Family Services Director, YMCA of Greenville
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? The value of afterschool and summer learning is critical. It is important to provide kids with youth development and life skills. They learn so much during the school day but I feel the real learning is in Afterschool and Summer Camp. Programs that help kids grow and learn outside the classroom I feel is beneficial in life long success. Learning to cook, play basketball, or even how speak respectfully are the kinds of skills that are important in a child’s life! It is the little things that make a big impact on a child’s life.
Coordinator of Special Academic Programs, Greenville County Schools
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning provide additional opportunities for students to engage with content and their peers. Students, as well as their families, benefit from these intentional programs to invest in academic and social growth, as well as to serve as a safe space for support and care.
Coordinator of Early Learning and Family Involvement, Anderson School District 3
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? “Life Changing” are the words that come to mind when I think about the value of an effective, well-planned afterschool program and summer camp. These programs give many students the opportunity to close any learning gap(s) they may have and prepare them for the “next step”. For some of our students, the focus may be on providing intensive intervention for a math or reading deficiency. For other students, the focus is for them to remain in a structured routine with the emphasis on support services for social-emotional concerns. No matter the need, these programs can reroute a student’s future from falling far behind to staying on track with his/her peers.
Rev. Jeffrey Howard, Ph.D.
Minister to Christian Education and Community Outreach, Welfare Baptist Church
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? I believe afterschool and summer learning provides essential needs beyond the classroom for children. They offer unique opportunities for students to grow in their social, and cognitive skills. Additionally, both afterschool and summer learning create channels between students and teachers for support that reduces behavioral issues.
Director, Bloom Upstate
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? The value of after school and summer learning is infinite. After school and Summer programs create opportunities to build upon the strengths and weaknesses defined through gaps in educational and home environments. These opportunities create a safe space for youth to increase prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), to be authentically true to self development and to foster positive relationships.
GEAR UP Coach, GEAR UP
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? After school and summer learning enhances a positive culture, improves moral conduct and principles, teaches life skills, supports inclusivity, structure, character development, social and emotional learning, behavioral improvement, and strengthens families. Programming also provides opportunity for community engagement, partnerships and collaborations.
Joceline B. Murdock
Curriculum Coordinator, Darlington County School District
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? When thinking about the value of afterschool and summer learning, I feel the greatest value is that students are able to receive extra one-on-one practice and they are free to dig deeper into the content since the teacher or the afterschool adult has fewer students to worry about like they would in a regular school day.
Nonprofit President and Educator, Historic Paradise Foundation
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? After school and summer learning provides year-round social, academic, and emotional support which is especially a necessity for children at every age and stage.
Afterschool Director, Cane Bay Elementary School Cobra Care
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Classroom time is a place to receive new information. Home is where a student can really understand that information, via homework or time spent with parents going over assignments. Students with working parents, or parents just otherwise busy, miss out on the home aspect. After-school and summer programs are a way to foster that growth and ensure those classroom lessons are getting extra attention and absortion. Games and activities based on classroom learning can really help with overall lesson comprehension.
Executive Director, Love House Learning Academy
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Teaching of knowledge, education and experiences with children to give them the opportunity to become the strength of what you have successfully mastered in life all while creating new memories with fun, creativity and learning all year long. “Teach them what we know and they will become what they have learned.”
Challenge Site Director/2023 Summer Challenger Director, Rock Hill Schools Challenger
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning programs provide students with the structure they thrive on. In addition to benefi ting from a safe and structured environment, these programs ensure students participate in various high-quality and engaging activities. Whether these activities are social, academic, or related to a group of students’ unique interests, students can continue learning and growing while being able to express themselves and have fun with their peers. These opportunities are not aĳ orded to all students and prove valuable to students who participate in afterschool and summer learning programs.
Program Officer, Kaleidoscope, Charleston County School District
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Most of our programs are in title one school so most of our students are not performing to state standards. So working with students after school allows us the opportunity to help students. Summers are important because it allows us the opportunity to continue to serve student academics. If students are exposed to summer enrichment it takes about nine week of the upcoming school year to recapture what they retain the past school year.
Coordinator of Extended Day, Dorchester District Two LEAP Afterschool Program
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning opportunities play a vital role in the improvement of students’ education, school year attendance and the overall well being of a child. I have always felt that children grow when there is a trifecta infl uence- the school, parents and student working together to achieve a child’s optimal grown in all areas. Afterschool and summer learning opportunities benefi ts the whole child. In order for children to grow and excel, they must feel encouraged, valued and supported.
Site Director of YouthBASE, YouthBASE Afterschool Program
What do you feel is the value of afterschool and summer learning? Afterschool and summer learning opportunities provide students both academic and enrichment opportunities that seek to develop the whole child. Students who participate in these programs grow academically but also socially and emotionally resulting in more confi dent learners. Afterschool and summer learning opportunities also provide educators with an opportunity to grow as professionals.